Here’s the second part of our examination of Gilbert Garnon's 132 Love Poses. In the previous article, we examined parallels with Shunga and the French erotic tradition. This time we’re going to look at bizarre copulations and curious correspondences with modern art in over 30 images!
Fig. 1. Male partner inserts his arm in the vagina of his partner.
Along with well-known sex poses performed in extraordinary locations, there are some kinky and grotesque stunts in Garnon's set. For instance, the scene with a man who uses his arm instead of a penis, which awakens the curiosity of a cat sitting next to the couple (fig. 1). It may seem the craziest design, but if there was a top of the absurdest pictures, the first place could be also bestowed upon the scenes of self-fellatio and self-cunnilingus (fig. 2, 3). The latter is also accompanied by Salvador Dali who is busy stimulating the girl's anus, which indicates the extent of surreality.
Fig. 2. Self-fellatio with a female partner stimulating anus.
Fig. 3. Self-cunnilingus with Dali stimulating the anus of the girl.
Another curious motif is couples acting in their sleep. The first example depicts a sleep-walker who puts an erected penis between the shoulder and forearm of a girl who fell asleep watching a porn magazine (fig. 4). The cat is now napping on the table, but it doesn't mean that there is no one to watch. The couple is witnessed by a masturbating man in glasses that make us guess whether he's sleeping too or not. The second example portrays a couple dreaming together of cunnilingus while actually performing it (fig. 5).
Fig. 4. The sleepwalker with erected penis and a sleeping girl being watched by a man in glasses.
Fig. 5. Cunnilingus while sleeping.
The sex scene involving foot fetishism also attracts our attention as it takes place at the post office (fig. 6). What happened a moment before? Why does a postman have a foot fetish? Perhaps, the client service is so slow that people in the queue can exercise all kinds of deviations while waiting. In this case, the postman does his best to satisfy the visitors. Yet one image (fig. 7) referring to the topic of foot fetishism shows a woman in high heels having sex with a male shop assistant (or, possibly, with her husband) amidst the boxes at the shoe shop. The couple is watched by a female shop assistant. What arouses her, the sex scene or the heels?
Fig. 6. Foot fetishism at the post office.
Fig. 7. Copulation at the shoe shop.
Between Ordinary and Original
This curious image shows a couple that makes love in a pose of the hands of the clock (fig. 8). The phallic stem of the lamp above their bed also resembles the clock's hands' angle. If there's a metaphor, what could it mean? Has lovemaking become such a routine that the couple even performs it in a clock position, and, if their sex is ordinary, how have they invented this pose?
Fig. 8. Clock-like sex pose.
Sometimes, Garnon switches men and women in traditional positions. For example, he depicts a seated variation of a cowgirl pose with a female partner spreading the legs of a male like the male partner does in a missionary position (fig. 9). In the depiction of a brothel, it's a man who sits on the lap of a fleshy courtesan looking like a basketball player (fig. 10). The most surreal switch involves a man lying on his stomach and holding ankles (fig. 11). In this position, he penetrates a woman who stands behind him. Commonly, this pose is performed the opposite way. Though there's no Dali around, his painting hangs on the wall.
Fig. 9. Left: Missionary pose with a man standing. Right: Cowgirl pose with a girl spreading man’s legs.
Fig. 10. Left: Seated copulation in the setting of a noire detective. Right: The scene at the brothel.
Fig. 11. Left: Variation of a doggy-style pose with female partner in a male’s position. Right: Variation of a doggy-style pose.
Speaking about the switch of male and female partners, we must mention a curious oral sex pose in the pastoral setting. A standing male partner performs cunnilingus while a woman hangs upside down with her legs on his shoulders (fig. 15-17). This pose can frequently be seen in skating or acrobatic performances. So, why does Garnon depict it in idyllic paces with bulls or satyrs in the background? The answer may lie in the Greek myth about Pan's unrequited love for the forest nymph Syrinx. Escaping the god, the nymph turned herself into a water-reed. Pan used this plant to create a special flute to play mournful tunes. The representation of fellatio as flute playing is based on the resemblance of two actions. Garnon probably refers to a mythological story to reinterpret flute playing as cunnilingus.
Fig. 13. “Playing flute” on the street.
Fig. 14. Fellatio scene
Fig. 15. Cunnilingus in the pastoral setting.
Fig. 16. Cunnilingus scene with a satyr in the background.
Fig. 17. Cunnilingus with a satyr playing flute.
Horns and Wings
Those who've read our article on the art of Roland Topor may remember that he frequently drew bulls with female legs instead of horns. Garnon often depicts a variation of a missionary pose where female legs seem to grow from a male partner's back like angel’s wings (fig. 18, 19). The most remarkable example of this feature in Garnon's set is the interracial sex with "black power" posters in the background (fig. 20). Is the dark-skinned partner a saint or a fallen angel who starts a riot? It seems that two creatures labeled as evil in medieval times eventually become something positive, like two minuses that make a plus.
Fig. 18. Left: copulation in a missionary pose in the setting of the 19th century. Right: copulation with a boss at the office.
Fig. 19. Missionary pose performed in public.
Fig. 20. “Black power” copulation.
Plots and Paintings
What else makes Garnon's 132 Love Poses amusing to look at is numerous references to classic and modern culture hidden inside many images. We've already mentioned Dali's painting and the artist himself appearing in the set. Leaving aside the posters with Beatles, Fidel Castro, and dirty variations of Disney cartoons, we'll focus on details that may be less familiar to the viewer, like the poster that can be seen on the wooden fence behind the woman (above Leonid Brezhnev's face, fig. 22). Name "Irina" refers to the notorious French photographer of Romanian origin Irina Ionesco, whose works will be the subject of our upcoming article (fig. 23, 24).
Fig. 21. Copulating students.
Fig. 22. The female partner leaning against the fence with “Irina Ionesco” poster.
Fig. 23. Irina Ionesco Myriam pour New look, 1987 (artsper.com)
Fig. 24. Irina Ionesco Le Divan, 1981 (catawiki.nl)
Don Juan and Doña Ana
Some images of the set can be interpreted as references to the wide-known European legends. The scene of intercourse at the graveyard (fig. 25), which we mentioned speaking of unusual settings, may point to the story of the Spanish seducer Don Juan. The stare of the "dear husband" watching the copulation makes us recall the graveyard statue of the father (or, in some versions, the spouse) of seduced Doña Ana. As known, blasphemous Don Juan murdered this man and then invited his statue to dinner to prove that he would remain unpunished. The "stone guest" came as promised and took the seducer to hell. It seems that in Garnon's universe, the dead husband acts more like a voyeur than a revenger.
Fig. 25. Copulation at the graveyard.
Fig. 26. Nuns with Christ.
Fig. 27. Girl doing fellatio to a priest.
Fig. 28. Lustful nuns and a probationer.
De Sade and The Angelus
As the illustrator of de Sade's novel, Garnon is inventive and blasphemous above all. The images of perverted nuns copulating with Christ who's left his cross and taken off thorns just to have a good time (after all, he is a man), or the depictions of priest's fellatio performed by a girl are not surprising as they've made eternal plots for the porn industry. Among these mainstream things, there's one that stands out. We mean the depiction of a couple engaged in foreplay with analingus in their bedroom (fig. 29). Above their bed, you can see The Angelus by Jean-François Millet (1859). The painting entitled with the first word of the Catholic prayer depicts two peasants bowing in the field over a basket of potatoes. Even though The Angelus was widely reproduced in France during the 19th century, naturalism wasn't the main reason for its incorporation in the picture built on the apparent pun. As for de Sade, his volume appears on the bookshelf in a prelude scene between the new Paolo and Francesca (fig. 31).
Fig. 29. Analingus with The Angelus on the wall.
Fig. 30. The Angelus by Jean-François Millet, 1859 (Wikipedia.org)
Fig. 31. Foreplay at the library with de Sade’s book in the background.
Fig. 32. Armpit masturbation in times of de Sade.
Fig. 33. de Sadian variation on The Swing of Fragonard.
Fig. 34. Extravagant way to mount the paramour.
Fig. 35. The double penetration scene.
Another curious picture seemingly exploiting the religious topic depicts anal intercourse with a vaginal penetration by a dildo (fig. 35). Though we haven't found the original of the painting in the background (it looks as if Chagall or Picasso made ink variations of Da Vinci), the allegory of defloration seems to be quite obvious (fig. 35a). The painting itself can be associated with the annunciation because of the 'angelic' appearance of man and woman. Angel Gabriel, visiting Virgin Mary to tell her that she'll give birth to Christ, is frequently depicted with flowers symbolizing Mary's innocence (fig. 36). As known, anal intercourse allows the woman to remain "innocent," though the couple in the image doesn't care about this advantage preferring double penetration.
Fig. 35a. Detail.
Fig. 36. The fresco of Annunciation in the church kostel Svatého Cyrila Metodeje by Petr Maixner, 1872 (stock.adobe.com).
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Sources: corquevols.blogspot.com; honesterotica.com; Wikipedia.org
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